Summer Cruise 2013 – Day 26
Today’s cruise took us further up the Thames and introduced us to some of it’s increasingly twisty-turny bits. Another early start meant we arrived at Pinkhill Lock before 9am so it was on ‘Self Service’. A passing canoeist helped with the gates but these locks are no more complicated than canal locks except that there are big wheels to turn instead of using a windlass and considerably easier to operate because they are better maintained!
The reach to the next lock was quite overgrown and at each turn we expected to find a boat coming around each blind corner, but no such problem occurred. At Shifford Lock a cruiser we met yesterday caught up with us and I made sure he went ahead this time. More twists and turns followed but it was much less overgrown and only required quite a bit of force on the tiller to negotiate some of these bends.
The countryside is so pretty, mostly meadowland and very few signs of human habitation except for the inexorable march of electricity pylons. At Newbridge (clearly one of the oldest on the river, built in the 13th century!) was the attractive Rose Revived Inn and the Maybush on the opposite side of the bridge which seemed to be being renovated.
Between there and Tadpole bridge we met an oncoming narrowboat, or so we thought. It was actually a barge, Ezme, the same length as us but twice as wide, however we met at a convenient place and passed easily.
We arrived at Rushey Lock at lunchtime so it was self service again then about another hour to Radcot where we called it a day, moored up, drew the curtains on the sunny-side and sheltered from the heat for a few hours until it was cool enough to sit out front of the boat enjoying the evening breeze cooling our bodies.